Les Garçonnes Tamara Charleston is inspired by Tamara de Lempicka and her amazing paintings. I am so delighted that the dazzling Tamara was the inspiration for this fragrance. The packaging of this one contains the dramatic (and one of my favorite) color combos of chartreuse and aubergine. When I first heard of this collection of Crazysticks, I was very intrigued by this one in particular. It sounded so interesting with notes of gardenia, sambac jasmine, green mandarin, peach, lisylang, freshly cut hay, amber, and absinthe. It is described as a “fresh and flowery cocktail, almost prohibited“. I am pleased with this solid perfume even though it isn’t exactly what I expected. I guess I expected for it to be kind of herbaceous like dried hay with a heavy anise or licorice note. I expected it to be more bitter. I guess I thought it would be heavy on “absinthe”. I would like my “in my mind version” since I love anything licorice, but I could see it turning many people off. Tamara Charleston is much prettier than I could ever imagine and much more interesting that I could ever imagine. It’s fruity, green, raw, floral, and a little bitter.

According to the company’s Olfactive Star, this scent is heaviest on green mandarin, absinthe, and lisylang. I know what the 1st two are, but lisylang, never even heard of it. Well, it is a Robertet creation and is described as an aquatic floral note. So I guess I won’t be getting this wonderful “flower” for my garden, haha. Tamara Charleston wears closely to the skin like other Crazylibellule & The Poppies solid fragrances. It is soft and intimate. When I first put this on my skin and took a whiff, it took me to a place. It really reminded me of something but I didn’t know what. Then it hit me. It reminds me of this abandoned house down the road that I pass on my evening strolls. It is a menacing, rotting craftsman with an unkept yard. This yard grows widly and bears fruits like figs, olive, peaches, apricots, and blackberries with no maintenance. The weeds are grown up and have taken over. Across the street a wild jasmine grows. I will stand there, checking the ripeness of the fruit because I am so bumrushing the fruit trees one day, a warm breeze will go by and it brings in a scent that reminds me of this fragrance. I guess because of the jasmine, unripe fruits, dried out weeds, and a warm sea breeze, it is like this little stick. So I was a bit stunned when I sniffed this. It is much prettier than that abandoned lot but it reminds me of it, I refer to that lot as my secret garden. Anyways, I bet you are ready for a fragrance review.

Tamara Charleston smells fresh and green. It smells almost ammonia-ish from the unripe or green mandarin. This gives a complex and very different citrus to this blend. Strangely this is my favorite note. It smells slightly floral. The blossom smell airy and light. It isn’t like I smell “jasmine” but more that I feel like I am catching the odor of a warm breeze being carried in from a flower garden. I just go “flowers” but I can’t identify them directly. It smells warm and sweet just like cut hay and amber resin. You also get a “warm” fuzziness from an almost perfectly ripe peach. It’s a sweet peach, maybe from a hint of sugar in the absinthe. The absinthe is there and it provides a bitter “green” note. It isn’t licoricey but smells more like if you were standing over a mixed herb garden that contains everything from fennel to juniper.

This scent is a winner. I really like it because I have absolutely nothing like it in my extensive collection. It is fresh, bitter, and green but still really pretty and wearable. I think it is a perfect scent for late summer and early fall. I also love the attention to detail by Crazylibellule & The Poppies. Their inspiration was a hedonistic visual artist. They’ve done nice things like use absinthe in this blend, something historically loved by bohemian artists. “L’Histoire” on the box brings to mind an encounter with one of Tamara’s models and/or lovers. I love solid perfumes and  I love that I carry this cute thing around with me. It is available at beautyhabit.com and b-glowing. com for under $20.

Young Lady with Gloves

Young Lady with Gloves

Clarins Eau Dynamisante is the kind of fragrance that nobody would purchase if they just sniffed it on a blotter card. It is the kind of fragrance that needs to be worn to really “develop” and to figure out if it works for you. It’s a unisex fragrance, so no Red Velvet cupcakes or honeysuckle blossoms here. It is citrusy and herbaceous and really lives up to its invigorating name. It kind of shocks the senses with a burst of lemon zest. Yes, the fragrance smells good enough to dip a French loaf into and smells mainly of items found in the herb cabinet or garden: lemon zest, thyme, bits of rosemary, a teeny tad of lavender. However, it is grounded by patchouli. The patchouli doesn’t take over, it still smells very green and citrusy. It is a cologne or EDT, so the lasting power isn’t so great. It lasts less than an hour. However, the fragrance isn’t even marketed by Clarins as a fragrance. Instead it is marketed as a “well-being” product. This is appropriate since the wear is short termed. It is an invigorating burst, a pick-me up. So, it would need to be sprayed a few times throughout the day to clear the mind. One “burst” doesn’t keep us going throughout the day anyways. I mean I know we all have more than our morning cup of coffee. This fragrance is very fresh, very energizing. It is perfect for summer because it isn’t heavy or offensive. It wears lightly and smells of citrus and in season herbs. The scent really shines with body heat. The warmth of the fragrance is really seen with the warmth of the body. It will begin to smell a bit more of rosemary and patchouli. It is very neutral and natural. I love it. I always have it around in the summer. It isn’t the most beautiful fragrance I own or even the most interesting. It is just so fresh and easy to wear. It’s gladiator sandals and a jersey knit dress in the summer. It’s just that easy to wear. It retails for $46 for 3.4 ounces. I really wish it came in a smaller and portable bottle so that I could haul it in my tote in the summer to spray and to sanitize mass transit 🙂 . I have chilled the bottle in the fridge for a summer shocker. It lives up to its “dynamite” name. It is available at fragrancenet.com.

I am a mega candied violet fan. I love the tastes of floral foods. I have a pack of Choward’s Violet Mints near me at all times.I love these little sweet and floral candies. They are so fragrant and really add fragrance to my office, purse, even my house. I love their smell. So I went searching for a fragrance just as sweet and delicate as these 1930’s confections.

Violets are a delicate and slightly “green” fragrance. Viola Odorata was what I was searching for. It is the sweet violet used in scones and candied violets and it is the classic perfume violet. They are sweet and beautiful. I don’t know if these contain the chemical that numbs the nerves from smelling other things. Actually, I don’t know if that is a rumor or not. But, it would make sense because the scent is so delicate that it can be smothered out by lots of other scents, so maybe it is a defense mechanism or something. Anyways, I went around sniffing many violet fragrances. They weren’t bad. They were just too green and medicinal. The smelled nice but more like a barbershop. I got my hands on this Borsari Violetta di Parma and it smells exactly like those Chowards mints! It was what I was looking for. It was super sweet without smelling like a lollipop or something. It was sweet in a candied violet way, dead on. This scent is sweet and smells of spring. It is super delicate and light and is more of a whisper of fragrance. It is very intimate because of this. It is like the breath after having a Chowards. It is so soft and old fashioned. With wear, it dries down sweet and green. This is a perfect spring and summer scent. It doesn’t wear very long and I find it hard to believe that it is an EDP and not an EDT. It wears for an hour max on me. Which is a bummer because this stuff isn’t cheap. It goes for $28 for 20 mL (a great way to sample it), $65 for 50 mL, and $110 for the 100 mL with the glamorous atomizer bottle. I imagine this scent worn and spritz on handkerchiefs and scarves worn closely to the neck in that super old fashioned way. I have done this and it wears longer this way. This scent is available on beautyhabit.com.

If you remeber your grandmother having violets in her garden but you don’t remember them having a noteable odor, then read this article. It is interesting and will help explain those bland ole’ violas in grandmother’s garden.


Weekly Cheap Secret: This isn’t the best lavender soap on the market but it isn’t too bad considering the price. It retails for under $4 for four bars of normal sized soap. I love lavender because it smells like summer. Since home air conditioning does not exist in the Pacific Northwest, windows and doors are frequently open for that ocean breeze in the summer. And since lavender seems to be pretty happy here everybody seems to grow it. And the nice thing about people is that I think they may actually plan things sometimes. For instance, we moved into a home with a gigantic English lavender bush directly in front of the door, so when the wind blows so does that amazing and relaxing fragrance. The neighbors are nice enough to share their breeze and their lovely lavender aroma also. Anyways, it is very nice in the summer to have that calming fragrance, especially when you feel hot and irritable because your craftsman lacks air conditioning. The lavender just seems to keep you sane on those hot days. Then, winter happens and you never see the sun again so you begin to miss anything dealing with summer at all. You forget about the pit stains on your shirt, the dryness and dust, and the fact that everyone in Seattle smells of B.O. In the winter you forget all the negative things of summer and just remember all the pretty things. I was feeling a bit summer sick and ordered these Yardley soaps from drugstore.com. The entire boxed that was shipped smelled very lavender. It isn’t a sweet and gross Bath and Body Works lavender vanilla mix. It is straight up medicinal smelling lavender. This isn’t your kinder and gentler English lavender oil, this is more that medicinal Italian lavender oil. That isn’t a bad thing, especially in winter when you kind of forgotten what anything alive smells like. Plus, it helps open up your airways. I find lavender so amazing because it really does make you feel happier and calmer.

The soap bars themselves are fragrant but the fragrance fades with time. So your first bar may smell strong but your last bar won’t cause the bathroom to smell so great. I think a new bar would make a nice addition to the underwear drawer as a sachet or the linen closet to freshen things up a bit. The bar is average size, not to small and not so large that it is like holding a slippery football in the shower. They lather OK and so far it hasn’t bothered my skin. It doesn’t feel very moisturizing but I’m not shedding like a Bearded Dragon either. It is just an average bar of soap with a medicinal lavender type smell for under $4. I don’t know if I will repurchase but I really don’ t have a reason not to. It is a nice pick me up in the winter and I hope to be smelling the real thing once again.